The East Pointerseastpointers.ca
There’s a reason, beyond their dazzling musicianship and wildly entertaining live shows, that The East Pointers have connected with audiences right across the globe, making new, original roots music the hippest, most vibrant thing going.
The reason? The East Pointers – fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron – write about real life, sketching out its joys and sorrows in vivid strokes. That palpable authenticity makes their instrumental tunes practically cartwheel and infuses their lyric-driven songs with poignancy.
And it’s why listening to The East Pointers’ brilliant and hotly anticipated second album What We Leave Behind – produced by superstar East Coast-bred songwriter/producer Gordie Sampson – is akin to meeting up with an old friend.
As a follow-up to 2015’s internationally acclaimed, JUNO Award-winning debut Secret Victory, What We Leave Behind shares stories previously unheard but framed by a familiar context. The album reflects on the traditions of Canadian Celtic music, where it comes from, and what it means to the people, but also strides in new directions. With a captivating balance between their traditional-sounding instrumental tunes, and catchy radio-ready songs, The East Pointers reach out with open arms to a wide range of listeners, inviting them to discover a new love of folk music.
Never before have The East Pointers so deftly leveraged the whole spectrum of human emotion, drawing inspiration straight from the world they live in. That’s especially evident in a pair of striking new songs featuring Tim Chaisson’s lead vocals: the trembling first single ‘82 Fires’ and the melancholy ‘Two Weeks,’ co-written with Sampson amid recording sessions at Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium last winter, where What We Leave Behind was cut.
‘While in Penguin, Tasmania we spoke with an older gentleman, a lifelong resident, who said that there were 82 wildfires currently on the loose in Tasmania, the most in over half a century. It hit home the severity of what we were all experiencing.”, says Koady Chaisson. “It was a restless few days for us. Small human decisions about where to live or whether or not the show would go on didn’t matter, Mother Nature would always have the final say. Being in the middle of that brings an immediacy about it, you can feel powerless.”
The plaintive ‘Two Weeks’ meanwhile, documents a passage depressingly common in the bands’ home province of Prince Edward Island and played out the world over in economically challenged communities: the need to leave home and travel far away from friends and family to find work.
“When I played that song for my mom, she said ‘That’s going to hit home for a lot of people,’” Koady Chaisson explains. “Many families are forced to split their time, with at least one member having to go out west – usually to Alberta – to make ends meet. It’s so hard. I did it, though luckily not for long, but there are people in my community going through it month after month, year after year.”
The flip side of What We Leave Behind – and indeed, of The East Pointers’ electrifying concerts – are scorching instrumental tunes that yank the freewheeling, Celtic-goosed past into the present, defying anyone to sit still in their chair.
“Traditional music has always been at the core of what we do as a band,” adds Jake Charron. “There’s something powerful about a style of music that has been passed on for generations around the world.” A new take on this tradition is evident in the spry ‘Party Wave,’ inspired by a thrilling surfing experience the band enjoyed in New Zealand, one of many countries The East Pointers visited during 10 months of touring last year. The tunes, written this past year on the road, take you on a journey, building with excitement before transforming into a full-on dance party.
Rounding out the album, the mournful ‘John Wallace’ – about a 19th century shipwreck off the coast of Prince Edward Island – and the mournful ‘Hid in Your Heart’ uphold the band’s devotion to documenting real life, tragedy and all.
What We Leave Behind carves a new path for The East Pointers, as they continue to blur the lines between traditional and popular music and develop a devoted fanbase around the globe.
Winners of the Best Young Songwriters award at the 2017 Toronto Independent Music Awards, the Under 18 award in the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition, and the Best Young Performer award at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Moscow Apartment is driven by a mixture of sweet harmonies and belted refrains, acoustic shimmer and electric crunch, and the clever wordplay of multi-instrumentalists and versatile vocalists Brighid Fry and Pascale Padilla.
The heart of their work is mature and exquisite songcraft, drawing on a source beyond their fifteen and sixteen years, but still linked to the dreams and worries of youth. Woven through with honeyed harmonies, their songs easily slip and shift through folk, pop, and punk to create a distinct kind of indie folk rock that moves your feet even as it catches in your throat.
Following an initial creative explosion in 2017, momentum keeps building for the young duo: they made their Horseshoe Tavern debut as a part of Dan Burke/exclaim! magazine’s Class of 2018 series, and are thrilled to be working under the seasoned management of Jeff Rogers (Handsome Boy Records, Crash Test Dummies, Pursuit of Happiness, Lowest of the Low). This summer, new audiences across the country and the border will be let in on the secret many in Toronto already know, as Moscow Apartment tour western Canada supporting the Good Lovelies, and play in New York opening for Ron Hawkins. They’re also preparing to release the first single from their forthcoming LP in June 2018.
- January 12th 2017: debuted as a yet-unnamed duo at the Burdock, as part of a Brighid Fry solo show
- Hillside Inside, February 11th, 2017
- Goodbye to Honest Ed’s Market Toronto for Everyone, February 24th
- Summerfolk Youth Discoveries auditions, March 19th, & March 26th (Kitchener & Owen Sound)
- The Lula Lounge (opening for Ariana Gillis, Kelly Prescott, Winona Wilde Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar and others)
- The Arlington, March 31st, 2017
- The Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield, QC, April 1st, 2017
- Toronto Climate March, April 29th
- Burdock (as part of Major-Minor Festival), May 6, 2017
- Open Tuning Festival (Toronto), June 10, 2017
- Waterstock, Erin Ontario (opened for Digging Roots, Bry Webb, Jim Cuddy, Oh Susannah), June 11, 2017
- Roncy Rocks neighbourhood festival, June 17, 2017
- Yonge-Dundas Square, Pride TO, June 21 2017
- Junction Solstice Festival, June 24, 2017
- YYZ Live, Pearson Airport, June 30, 2017
- Chi-cheemaun Ferry (a month of Sundays with Treasa Levasseur), Owen Sound, July 2, 2017
- Winnipeg Folk Festival, July 7, 2017
- Hillside Folk Festival, Guelph, July 15, 2017
- Summerfolk, August 18-20, 2017
- Shelter Valley Folk Festival, September 3, 2017
- EP launch party at Burdock, September 30, 2017
- Less Bar (with Romeo Romeo), October 5, 2017
- Folk Music Ontario, October 19-22, 2017
- With Saffron at their single release party at the The Cornerstone, Guelph, Nov 16 2017
- Long Winter 2017, The Tranzac, Toronto, Nov 17 2017
- With John Muirhead at The Record Centre, Ottawa, Nov 19 2017
- CBC’s Sounds of the Season 2017, Dec 1 2017
- With The Lifers at Less Bar, Toronto, Dec 1 2017
- exclaim! Magazine’s Class of 2018 showcase at The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, Jan 26 2018